Columbia College embraces technology.
Hammer Buzhyason mans the curving information desk in the Atkins-Holman Student Commons. Like most student workers behind the desk, he does homework on a laptop when he’s not helping fellow students and visitors. A pre-med junior with three majors (biology, chemistry and math) and two minors (philosophy and international relations), Buzhyason, who hails from Nigeria, is anxious about entering the American workforce.
That’s why he practices with the Grossnickle Career Services Center’s InterviewStream. This is a free service where students and alumni record themselves in a mock interview, which is then critiqued by center staff, even professors.
“It [InterviewStream] really has helped me,” says Buzhyason in his soft, intense voice. “I can be reserved at times, and it’s helped boost my confidence and hone my interviewing abilities.”
Kimberly Craig, Student Government Association president, also frequently uses Columbia College technology.
“I definitely use the online library database as I’m writing papers or putting together research articles,” says the senior majoring in human services. “I also use D2L [Desire2Learn, the college’s online platform] course access to communicate via email with other students in my class. I’ve set up a lot of study groups that way!”
Craig says she also uses D2L to check grades and download course supplements and content. “I primarily use D2L on my computer, but I access it on my phone a lot if I’m making sure I have everything completed for class and the course schedule.”
InterviewStream? D2L? Accessing a course on your phone? Is this a college or a tech startup?
The answer is a college that’s learned how to integrate the best of workable new technology into the lives of students, faculty and alumni. Using today's technology, students, faculty and alumni can do things unthinkable just 10 or 15 years ago — including, of course, earning a college degree.
Let’s start at a place every student and Craig knows well: the library.
What’s an ebrary? An electronic library, of course. And Stafford Library has one.
Not just any ebrary, either, but ebrary Academic Complete, a proprietary subscription-based database which has more than 70,000 titles on a wide variety of topics from business and economics to the life sciences, sociology and anthropology. ebrary is also fully searchable by topic, author, title and a host of other criteria. It’s free to all Columbia College students, faculty and staff.
- CougarCareerNetwork, or CCNet, from Grossnickle Career Services Center, allows students or alumni to browse, post or apply for a job, some offered first to CCNet users, using multiple job search engines and direct links to employers. Don Malson, director of career services, said he knew the center had to rethink its offerings for a Columbia College universe far beyond Columbia, Mo., and that CCNet’s databases will ultimately be able to generate thousands of openings. Visit CCNet
- YourCampus360, a self-guided, GPS-enabled tour that lets nostalgic alumni or potential students walk around campus, watch student videos, get campus weather, even the latest news. View CC's Campus tour
- Retention Alert
The college’s Retention Office, which is a part of the Enrollment Management division, adopted Retention Alert. This is a software system that allows Columbia College to identify and begin interventions with students as soon as an issue is identified, such as falling grades, incompletes and excessive absences. It also lets certain users share information as appropriate with others who can help the student.
- Virtual commencement
The college has also developed a virtual commencement page for graduates who cannot attend the main campus commencement and celebration. Virtual commencement includes just about everything as a live commencement:
- An address by President Gerald Brouder
- A commencement address by Karen Taylor ’89, executive vice president of
consumer banking, Boone County National Bank
- An alumni charge by Columbia College Alumni Association President Martha Eberhard ‘00
- A campus-by-campus list of graduates, sortable by degree
- A list of all graduates with Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for Academic Affairs, reading each name. This page also includes a comment feature so one can write to congratulate a graduate.
Check out Virtual Commencement.